Burglar alarms work as an effective defence against burglars and intruders. They are one of the top deterrents for both residential and commercials break-ins.
Evidence suggests that 9 out of 10 burglars choose a home without a security system to avoid the risk of being caught by an audible alarm.
This is why the quality of the system and the expertise with which it is installed are two very important factors for the system’s overall health.
Choosing state-of-the-art equipment and having a professional service install your system can significantly increase the system’s efficiency since they are experts in the field and know what they are doing.
Once the burglar alarm is successfully installed, it is your responsibility that it works in its optimal state. According to statistics, around 40% of UK households have a burglar alarm installed but 34% of them rarely set it. An even greater and more alarming number don’t even check for faults.
How can you ensure that your burglar alarm is working fault-free? Do burglar alarms need servicing?
The answer is yes. As is with every system, burglar alarms are susceptible to faults, but unlike every system, they are one of the easiest to configure, diagnose, and troubleshoot.
WHY DO BURGLAR ALARMS NEED SERVICING?
To ensure that your burglar alarm is working as it should and to prevent future faults from developing, it is best to have your system serviced regularly.
Like any other piece of machinery, a burglar alarm is made up of several complex components that need to be serviced in order to run smoothly.
Burglar alarms work using a series of sensors that go off as soon as they detect any unusual activity, notifying the person-in-charge to take necessary action.
However, if even a single aspect of the alarm fails to work properly, it leaves the entire system, and subsequently you and your property, in a vulnerable state.
The cost of servicing an alarm system greatly outweighs the cost of an average burglary which can cost you some serious money!
Also, consider the fact that you might get robbed more than twice in a year since statistics show that one burglary occurs every 108 seconds in the UK!
A lot of serious issues could be prevented if faults are detected early and fixed before they become a hassle, both financially and security-wise. Therefore, regular servicing of your burglar alarm is a key aspect of your security system’s efficiency.
It’s always best to call for professional servicing instead of trying to give the system a fix yourself. You must, however, ensure that your burglar alarm remains clean and dust-free, and safe from bugs becoming an obstruction while leaving the professional servicing to the professionals.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD BURGLAR ALARMS BE SERVICED?
Different types of burglar alarms have different servicing needs.
To start, let’s discuss the two main types of burglar alarms; bells-only and monitored burglar alarms:
The bells-only burglar alarm uses sounds, and sometimes flashing lights, to activate the sensor. Since these burglar alarms aren’t monitored by a third-party, they rely on the owners and people nearby to take action as soon as the alarm is triggered, which is why they aren’t particularly effective for properties in secluded and isolated areas.
Monitored burglar alarms work exactly like the bells-only alarm with the additional feature of them being monitored 24/7 by a professional burglar alarm monitoring service. In the event of the alarm being triggered, the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) contacts you, your family, someone trustworthy that you’d like to be notified, or the police in case of a break-in.
If you own a bells-only burglar alarm, an annual service should suffice. However, if your burglar alarm incorporates police monitoring, it is advised to have the system serviced twice a year.
Regular annual servicing enables the experts to catch the issues just as they start to develop and before they become a serious problem.
Faulty systems can trigger false alarms that can also lead to serious penalties in the UK.
The main components of a burglar alarm include:
- The control panel – which controls the burglar alarm system and is integrated with all the other components to sound an alarm when an intrusion is detected.
- Sensors – that are devices used to detect intrusions and sound an alarm to alert the owners.
- Keypad – the main interface where the user can arm or disarm the alarm.
- Sounder – the loud sound that the alarm makes when the sensor picks up something suspicious.
- Battery – the system relies solely on them or as a back-up power supply.
It is detrimental to the health of the burglar alarm that all the above components are in great working condition, and it is important to periodically keep a check on issues related to them.
If you notice problems in between your annual or biannual servicing, you can simply call your burglar alarm company to come to have a look at the issue and resolve it as soon as possible.
WHO TO CALL?
A good burglar alarm servicing company will provide you with 24/7 customer support as well as maintenance packages to take care of your systems.
At Calder Security, we will work out the most cost-effective ways to prolong the life of your burglar alarm and keep it in topmost shape.
You should choose Calder Security for your alarm servicing needs because:
- We provide a comprehensive burglar alarm security solution that includes professional installation of the system, monitoring and repair, and maintenance services.
- We are highly experienced and have been in the security industry since 1976.
- We have extensive knowledge of all the types of burglar alarms and can also repair systems that we haven’t installed.
- We have SSAIB approved alarm installers, repairers, and contractors.
- We offer a 24-hour emergency call-out and can help you when your alarm goes off at 3 am if needed.
- We can also often talk you through fault fixes over the phone.
- We offer maintenance contracts for both residential and commercial properties.
- We give out timed appointments so that you know when we’re coming.
- We also send out reminders for you to know when servicing is due.
- We are a Wakefield based company covering the West Yorkshire region and beyond.
Call us today free on 0800 612 9799 for all your security system needs!
BURGLAR ALARM MAINTENANCE CONTRACTS
A lot of security companies, along with providing regular maintenance and service checks, offer maintenance contracts to their customers.
A maintenance contract is a contract between the security company and the burglar alarm owner. The duration of the contract, the price, and other details vary between contracts and companies.
You may set up a custom maintenance contract as per your requirements and budget.
Purchasing a maintenance contract after having your system professionally installed ensures that the system will be looked after and that the professionals will take care of all the servicing needs, leaving you carefree and at ease.
In case of an unexpected fault in your burglar alarm system, the team of experts will put your system at their top priority due to you having a maintenance contract with them.
Most of the time, maintenance contracts also include monitoring services for the burglar alarm ensuring more safety and security for you and your property.
The benefits of a maintenance contract include:
- A regularly maintained system by professionals
- 24-hour coverage
- Reduced call-out and labour charges
- Reduction on insurance
Domestic burglar alarm maintenance services cost around £86.40 including VAT. This includes full testing of the entire alarm system including the control panel, sounders, sensors, as well as the engineer’s time on site. Similar commercial burglar alarm maintenance services cost around £92 including VAT.
Domestic burglar alarm repair services cost around £86.40 including VAT, whereas commercial burglar alarm repair services cost around £92 including VAT. Remember, these are average costs and they may vary depending on the nature of the fault.
MOST COMMON BURGLAR ALARM FAULTS
Burglar alarms need regular servicing because they can develop several faults such as triggering false alarms to misfires and even beeping all night, keeping you and the neighbours awake.
You need to understand some of the most common burglar alarm faults to know when your system requires servicing or repair.
Let’s look at some of the top burglar alarm faults and what can be done to fix them:
- Battery issue
Burglar alarms work either solely on a battery, such as with the wireless variants, or use batteries as a backup power supply.
In any case, batteries are a crucial component of a burglar alarm system and the most common fault is the battery wearing out.
Having a low battery on a burglar alarm can be dangerous and risky because the alarm may not function correctly.
A beeping keypad and a warning code on the monitor are a couple of indicators of low battery issue in burglar alarms. Insufficient charges during power outages may also cause the low battery indicator to show.
A possible solution for the low battery fault is first checking if the battery is charged properly. If it isn’t, charge it completely and see if the issue persists. If it still does, the battery might need to be replaced.
A good quality battery lasts for a couple of years, so make sure you have the right quality and brand to avoid the issue arising unexpectedly and beforehand. Reach out to us for exceptional repair and maintenance services with our SSAIB approved alarm repairers and contractors.
- Faulty sensors
Burglar alarms work through sensors that have moving pins inside of them which are designed to pick up vibrations caused by an intruder trying to break into your property.
These pins can sometimes jam in the open or closed position, leaving it impossible to set or unset. If left in the open position, the alarm won’t set, and if left in the closed position, it will set but won’t detect any intrusions. Faulty sensors sometimes become a reason for false alarms as well. In this case, the burglar alarm will detect an intrusion even when there isn’t any.
This issue can be solved and repaired by identifying and replacing the faulty sensor. The sensors must be installed properly, tested thoroughly, and regularly maintained to overcome this issue.
- Loose cables and connections
Loose connections are a common problem for electronic devices such as burglar alarms. One of the main reasons is the subpar installation of the system, which is why professional installation is crucial.
Faulty wiring may cause the burglar alarm to malfunction in several ways. The cables connecting the components or the main power supply cable might be loose resulting in the system not working properly.
The device might not charge completely or result in the sensors not picking up intrusions. Connections can also become frayed and corroded due to harsh weather conditions such as extreme heat or moisture.
The best way to avoid this fault is by having the burglar alarm professionally installed by certified installers and having the system regularly serviced to keep general wear and tear at bay.
- Faulty control panel or keypad
The control panel is what controls and connects the whole system. The main features of a control panel include zone types and capacity, arming/disarming the alarm, and event logs and activation records.
An ineffective control panel might show tamper and zone faults, which might make it difficult to set the alarm. Another issue is the keypad freezing and becoming unresponsive.
If the other components work fine, the faulty control panel and keypad can be changed. This is a cost-effective repair method instead of replacing the entire system altogether.
- Bell doesn’t ring
The bell is the loud sound that the alarm makes if it picks up an intrusion. Faults in the ringer result in the alarm going silent even when it is triggered. It will either not sound or be very muffled, making it very ineffective. This might be due to a battery issue or rust depositing on the bell.
The bell can be cleaned up and repaired or changed completely, in case if it is broken. Charging or changing the battery component might be a good idea as well, to rectify the situation.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Other than having regular professional maintenance checks for your burglar alarms, what can you do to prolong your system’s life and ensure it always works in its optimal state?
Here are some of your recommended options:
- Keep the system clean
As mentioned above, one of the reasons why the sensors might become faulty and jam is because of dust being trapped in them. It is necessary for the health of your burglar alarm system to clean it regularly.
Make sure you protect your system from extreme heat and moisture that may cause it to rust.
For a thorough clean-up, it is advised to call professional maintenance services instead of opening and taking the system apart yourself.
- Keep obstructions away
Obstructions such as moving objects, fans, and curtains must be kept away from the sensors. An open door or window after the alarm has been set might also cause it to trigger unnecessarily. Another potential obstruction is water seepage on the wall where the burglar alarm is placed.
At times, the alarm might get triggered because of insects such as spiders. All it takes is a pesky spider to crawl directly over a sensor to fool it into thinking there’s some kind of intruder.
- Be informed
A lot of people are unable to identify basic faults and how to deal with them. Many people claim they don’t know how to set their alarm, which is why they never use it, which is as dangerous as it is astonishing.
All good security companies, such as Calder Security, train their customers on how to use the system, such as how to set/unset the alarm as part of the professional installation process.
We will always demonstrate the system to you before we leave to make sure you’re fully conversant with how it works and the capabilities your system has.
Calder Security is Yorkshire’s leading independent security company and we’d be happy to help you make your property safe! Contact us right away for a quick quote.